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Wife, Children and Friends

Language: English

When the black-lettr'd list to the gods was presented,
The list of what Fate to each mortal intends,
At the long string of ills a kind Goddess relented
And slipt in three blessing: wife, children and friends.
In vain surly Pluto maintain'd he was cheated;
For justice divine could not compass its ends:
The scheme of man's penance he swore was defeated
For earth becomes heaven with wife, children and friends.

Though spice-breathing gales o'er his caravan hover,
Though round him Arabia's whole fragrance ascends,
The merchant still thinks of the woodbines that cover
The bow where he sat with wife, children and friends.
The day-spring of youth, still unclouded by sorrow,
Alone on itself for enjoyment depends:
But drear is the twilight of age, if it borrow
No warmth from the smiles of wife, children and friends.

When the soldier whose deeds live immortal in story,
Whom duty to far distant latitudes sends,
With transport would barter whole ages of glory,
For one happy day with wife, children and friends.
Though  vallour still glows in his life's waning embers,
The death wounded tar who his  colours defends,
Drops a tear of regret, as he, dying remembers,
How blest was his home with wife, children and friends.

Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish
The laurel which o'er her dead favourite bends;
O'er me wave the willow, and long may it flourish,
Bedew'd with the tears of wife, children and friends.
Let us drink, for my song, growing graver and graver,
To subjects too solemn insensibly tends;
Let us drink, pledge me high, Love and Virtue shall flavour
The glass which I fill to wife, children and friends.


Translation(s): FRE GER

List of language codes

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor] and Ferdinando Albeggiani

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title 1: "Freund, Gattin und Kind"
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Femme, enfants et amis", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website: 2004-12-11.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:11
Line count: 32
Word count: 280

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Femme, enfants et amis

Language: French (Français) after the English

Quand la liste en lettres noires fut présentée aux dieux,
La liste de ce que le destin destine à chaque mortel,
Devant la longue liste de maux, une gentille déesse se laissa fléchir
Et y glissa trois faveurs : femme, enfants et amis.
En vain Pluton renfrogné soutint qu'il avait été trompé,
Car la justice divine ne pourrait pas atteindre son but :
Il jura que le régime de pénitence de l'homme était ruiné
Car la terre devient un paradis avec femme, enfants et amis.

Si des vents pleins d'épices flottent au-dessus de sa caravane,
Si autour de lui tout le parfum de l'Arabie s'élève,
Le marchand pense toujours au chèvrefeuille qui recouvre
La tonnelle où il était assis avec femme, enfants et amis.
Le printemps de la jeunesse, encore sans les nuages du chagrin,
Ne dépend que de lui seul pour le plaisir :
Mais le crépuscule de l'âge est triste s'il n'emprunte pas
De la douceur aux sourires de femme, enfants et amis.

Quand le soldat dont les actions vivent éternellement dans l'histoire,
Que le devoir envoie vers de lointaines latitudes,
Avec joie échangerait tous les années de gloire
Pour un jour heureux avec femme, enfants et amis.
Si la valeur brille encore dans le feu mourant de sa vie,
La mort a blessé le marin qui défend ses couleurs,
Verse une larme de regret, tandis que, mourant, il se souvient
Comme sa maison était bénie avec femme, enfants et amis.

Que le souffle de la renommée rafraîchisse toujours et nourrisse
Le laurier qui est courbé au-dessus de son cher défunt ;
Au-dessus de moi le saule
avec les larmes de femme, enfants et amis.
Buvons, car mon chant, qui devient de plus en plus grave,
Tend insensiblement vers des sujets trop solennels ;
Buvons, buvons à ma santé, l'amour et la vertu donneront du goût
Au verre que je remplis pour femme, enfants et amis.


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Authorship

  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2014 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2014-01-20.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:28
Line count: 32
Word count: 318